A plan for Scotland to “forge a future of excellence and equity” in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has been unveiled. The strategy, spanning 2017 to 2022, outlines actions designed to inspire enthusiasm for STEM among all sectors of society.

Key measures include strengthening the delivery of STEM education, addressing unconscious bias and gender stereotyping, and ensuring the development of skills that meet employers’ needs, said the Scottish Government in a statement.

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Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “It is our ambition to build a modern and dynamic economy, so it is critical that Scotland recognises the value of, and achieves its full potential in STEM.

“The sectors which feature in our vision for a high-tech, low-carbon economy have a golden thread – they all require a highly educated and skilled workforce with STEM capabilities in order to develop and grow.

“The future is truly one of opportunity and we must ensure everyone is equipped and supported to make the most of fast-paced technological change around us and the job opportunities this generates, enabling Scotland to become a STEM nation.”

Strategy action points

The plan includes:

  • Improving the supply of STEM talent to the teaching profession
  • Establishing a new network of specialist STEM advisors for schools
  • Addressing unconscious bias and gender stereotyping
  • Prioritising STEM in the expansion of apprenticeships
  • Increasing access to public science engagement events
  • Creating positive STEM role models, mentors and coaches
  • Delivering up-to-date advice and information on STEM careers

An implementation group will be established to oversee the delivery of the strategy and publish an annual report on progress.